Hutchison Whampoa’s 3 UK has started to integrate its investment in music streaming service Spotify with the launch of a bundled package on the HTC Hero smartphone.
The announcement comes two months after Hutchison Whampoa chairman Lee Ka-shing made a significant investment in Spotify. The move seems natural as Hutchison’s investment also garnered a slot on the Spotify board.
Under the deal HTC’s Android-powered handset will be bundled with a two-year subscription to Spotify Mobile for an upfront fee of £99 ($162), plus monthly payments of £35.
The package includes unlimited Spotify Premium for mobile and PC for 24 months (worth £240), 750 minutes to other mobiles, unlimited texts, unlimited 3-to-3 calls, and free Skype-to-Skype calls.
According to 3’s Director of Products & Services Charlotte Blanchard, the offering is the first step in Spotify service integration. “Over time our deal with Spotify will extend across a range of our products including mobile broadband.”
It is understood that the UK service may form the template to rollout Spotify through other 3 international units in the year ahead.
Spotify has dabbled in carrier bundling before, its initial partnership with Norwegian ISP Bredbandsblaget recently ended but earlier this month it announced a similar deal with Sweden’s Telia.
The mobile music subscription service claims to have six million users, with just under 10% of them paying premium to remove ads and have mobile access.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told a conference in London last month that he believed bundled solutions were the way to go. “We can increase the number of transactions that happen on the internet to trillions. The key for us is getting music in to people’s existing billing habits.”